Mississippi Sued for Sexual Abuse at Detention Center

Mississippi Sued for Sexual Abuse at Detention Center

The state of Mississippi is currently being sued by the Mississippi Youth Justice Project for the alleged sexual abuse that six girls, ages 13-17 endured.

The Columbia Training School is a girl’s detention center that treats those who have mental illnesses.

Girls Shackled

According to the suit, five of the girls claim they were shackled while at the center for up to a month.

Reports claim the staff would fail to double lock the shackles and when the girls would walk they would tighten around their ankles causing severe pain.

A 17-year-old girl says she was shackled in leg irons for three weeks.

“I have nightmares at night. I have scars on my ankles,” claims the girl.

Sexual Abuse

A 15-year-old girl says she was sexually assaulted by one of the male guards.

The guard reportedly stopped her in the hallway and began kissing and rubbing her.

Later that night, he reportedly went into her cell and attempted to undress her; however, when she struggled, he left.

The girl claims she went to officials about her abuse but nothing was done.

“They told me I was lying,” she says, “that I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

Other girls witnessed the guards asking patients to show them their breasts.

The Lawsuit Begins

The lawsuit names Gov. Haley Barbour and DHS executive director Don Taylor as the defendants.

Taylor recently suspended six of Columbia’s employees with pay and launched an investigation.

Not The First Time

Columbia, which is home to 33 girls and has a yearly budget of $5 million, has been accused of abuse before.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Mississippi over the horrid conditions at Columbia’s boy’s facility, the Oakley Training School.

“The fact that these violations persist, is incredibly telling about how broken the system is,” states Sheila Bedi, the Mississippi Youth Project director.

(Source: Fox News)

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